Caiaphas: Close But Not Close Enough

post date: March 24, 2007
We have just posted a new sermon on Caiaphas, the high priest who plotted to kill Jesus:
Caiaphas: Close But Not Close Enough
Here’s an excerpt:
Caiaphas was so close to the truth. So close but not close enough. He was a religious leader who ought to have known that everything in the Old Testament pointed to Christ. His story proves that being a religious leader doesn’t guarantee any degree of spiritual enlightenment. He was so blinded by his hatred of Christ that he could not see who he really was. He even spoke the truth unknowingly and prophesied what Christ would accomplish by his death.
As I write these words, we are only a few days away from Holy Week. There is no better time to ponder what happened to Caiaphas. If we merely pity him, we miss the point of the story that God would impress upon our hearts. He was religious, and it was his religion that blinded his eyes. Yet the religion he followed was the religion God revealed through Moses. We need not spend any time arguing that the Jews had drifted away from the perfection revealed on Mt. Sinai. That this is true, no one can deny, but it hardly matters because all of us have drifted from the divine ideal, and while we can argue which church comes the closest, none of us can claim perfection. In sending Christ away to be crucified, Caiaphas thought he was doing God’s will. Thought he was doing what Moses would have done. Thought he was following the law of God. Thought that he was doing the prudent thing by ridding the country of this miracle-working imposter who stirred up the people and invited Roman reprisal. Caiaphas thought he was following God in those early hours on Friday morning. As the chief religious leader of the Jews, he was the blind leading the blind.
Let us not think that we are immune to the same tragic mistake. In our zeal to serve God, we may actually end up opposing him. Our only hope is to cast ourselves upon the Lord, admit our weakness, and pray for true enlightenment that comes from the Holy Spirit.


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